Feds throw funding towards Edmonton’s Yellowhead Trail project

Click to play video: 'Details on major Yellowhead upgrade'
Details on major Yellowhead upgrade
WATCH ABOVE: The Yellowhead will get a major billion-dollar upgrade, turning it into a true "freeway." Vinesh Pratap has more on the plans and the impacts – Dec 16, 2016

The federal government announced it is contributing close to a quarter of a billion dollars towards Edmonton’s Yellowhead Trail project.

Federal Transportation Minister Amarjeet Sohi, along with provincial transportation minister Brian Mason and Edmonton mayor Don Iveson, made the announcement Friday morning.

READ MORE: $1B Yellowhead Trail upgrade details to be announced Friday

The federal government will contribute $241,600,000; the province of Alberta will contribute the same amount while the city covers the remaining costs for the $1 billion upgrade.

A graphic showing the expected changes to the Yellowhead Trail. City of Edmonton

The City of Edmonton has been pushing for funding to take out signalized intersections and build new overpasses.

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In November, the province committed its portion of the project and the city was waiting for Ottawa to contribute.

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The Yellowhead Trail Freeway Plan, presented to city council in May, said the project would create 6,000 jobs, generating over $500 million in wages and more than $100 million in taxes. It estimates travel time savings of $25 million in today’s terms, “increasing to $75 million in 30 years.”

Collision cost reductions would range from $10 million to $15 million.

READ MORE: Notley government says yes to Yellowhead makeover, feds to review project

Currently the Yellowhead sees 63,000 to 81,000 vehicles per day, with 20 per cent of those being trucks. Those numbers are expected to grow to 87,000 to 155,000 vehicles per day in thirty years. Recent completion of the city’s ring road won’t help. “Anthony Henday Drive is not expected to take traffic off Yellowhead,” the report said.

Work has already begun in preparation for the official go ahead. Preliminary engineering is underway for the 25-kilometre stretch and land is being expropriated.

Eight intersections with signals, and more than a dozen other intersections and access points, would be eliminated, according to plan.

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READ MORE: Edmonton mayor meets with local businesses to discuss potential revamp of Yellowhead Trail

The announcement was made at the All Weather Windows factory near 184 Street and the Yellowhead Trail.

Construction is expected to start by 2021 and will take 10 years.

With files from 630 CHED and Julia Wong

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